Thursday, October 20

What I'm Doing in October

Life is good right now.  Other than dealing with a sinus infection.  Those suck.


Having a steady source of income definitely improves my outlook on things.  This month, I've completed two hospitality jobs.  If Amazon stays steady, I won't be working as many hospitality jobs as they pay less.  We do have a job booked in Dallas for November and might have a job in Orlando depending on how much it pays.

I've been delivering for Amazon whenever I can.  Amazon limits driver's hours to 8 per day and 40 per week.  The last two weeks I've met my goal of working 40 hours at Amazon.  I gross around $30/hour including tips before expenses.

I haven't been driving for Uber or Lyft much.  When I have a gap in my Amazon schedule I sometimes turn the rideshare apps on.  Yesterday I was off from Amazon between 4:30 pm-6:30 pm.   I earned about $30 from rides in that time.  I probably will drive on Halloween night since it is so busy.  Our area has seasonal demand and things are picking up, so I might start driving more when I'm not at Amazon.


We are spending the night in Orlando at the end of the month.  I bought tickets to the Sia concert and booked a room within walking distance of the Amway Center.  Since I need to work as many hours as possible this month (property taxes will be due soon), there won't be time for much recreational travel.


I thought I would need to visit Birmingham to turn over the vacant condo, but I managed to place a tenant without making that trip.  Since I now have a trustworthy handyman, I'm able to delegate any repairs that the new tenants need.  I enjoy checking on my properties, plus Birmingham was home for 35 years.  But a day there is a day I'm not working here in Florida.

Wednesday, October 5

My Frugal Miser - September Expenses: $3,347

Overall September was a very frugal month.  Working as much as I did, I didn't have time to spend money on anything.  In August I pre-paid for Shell gas, and my fuel bill for September was just $12.  Every month I take a depreciation expense to recognize the loss of value of my car.  This is a non-cash expense and is based on the mileage used during the month.

We spent a week in Las Vegas, and during the trip I hit my first Royal Flush on video poker.  I was playing a quarter machine and won $1,000.  I managed to hold onto half of that and used the casino's cash to play with the rest of the week.

I've gone way over my goal for limiting vacation spending this year.  In September, I made two large purchases towards 2017 vacations:  flights to Iceland and Amsterdam and a cruise.

Food spending benefited from the refund from Nutrisystem.  I returned the second shipment of food they sent since I still haven't started on the first month's shipment.

September Expenses:  $3,347

$1,064 Auto ($12 gas, $4 repairs/maintenance, $1,049 depreciation)
$0 Bank Fees
$7 Clothing
$0 Computer
($147) Entertainment (movies, gambling, alcohol) income this month
$33 Food
$16 Gifts Given
$127 Household/Housing/Home Repair
$52 Health and Dental Insurance
$0 Investment Expense
$117 Interest Expense*
$25 Medical/Dental
$10 Miscellaneous
$60 Personal Care
$1 Subscriptions
$0 Taxes
$127 Uber/Lyft Expenses (excluding fuel and depreciation)
$160 Utilities
$1,694 Vacation

*Interest expense includes student loans and the loan on my car.  As both rates are below 2%, I am completely comfortable paying the interest each month and investing the money that I would otherwise use to pay off these loans.  In September I paid $103 to E*Trade for "hard to borrow" interest on a short sale of Sears Holdings stock. 

Monday, October 3

My Frugal Miser - September Income: $12,060

September was a great month for income, even though we spent one week on vacation in Las Vegas.

I've figured out the trick to getting hours on Amazon Flex, and it's been rewarding.  I enjoy making deliveries, and the tips are significant.  If Uber allowed for tips, the difference in driver income would be ridiculous.  With Amazon, I am earning around $10/hour just in tips.

Rental income was okay, but one property is still vacant and a second one is becoming vacant this month.  As I've added hours on Amazon, I've worked less at mystery shopping and rideshare driving.

September Income $12,060

$332 Mystery Shopping and Hospitality Jobs
$379 Uber
$89 Lyft
$3,364 Amazon Deliveries
$6,734 Rental Income
$15 Dividends and Interest (Investment Accounts)
$1,068 Realized Gains (Losses) on Investments
$79 Other Sources

  • I don't include transactions in my retirement accounts.  This includes rental income, dividends and capital gains and losses.
  • I include merchandising and hospitality work in the mystery shopping category since the companies that I shop for provide this extra side work. 

Wednesday, September 28

Back in Business

The Google gods have granted me the continued gift of blogging.  Thanks to those of you who commented on my last post, particularly to Hawaii Planner, who provided the website where I could locate a phone number to call Google.  It took numerous phone calls, but I finally got this house in order and this website has been renewed for another year.  More importantly, I now know how to log in to Google's Admin site to update my credit card in order to avoid this fiasco in the future.